April 23rd 2007

i just shake my head and wonder what the hell i was thinking

Today I attended my last classes as a 2L. Somewhat anticlimactic, to be honest. Since then, I’ve made several more appointments to see apartments (tomorrow), done some administrative stuff relating to journal duties, and done some work on my seminar brief, due in three days. The seminar brief concerns me the most right now, since I haven’t written a brief since legal writing as a 1L and I’m not sure I know how anymore; also, I’ll probably spend most of tomorrow away from my computer, unable to work on the seminar brief, so I’ll likely end up pulling an all-nighter at some point this week. Oh yeah, that’s because I’m supposed to study with some friends on Wednesday. At this point, I imagine I’ll show up and just absorb and listen and converse rather than actually proffer any pearls of wisdom or gleaned understandings.

But if I can get past Thursday, and the turning in of the brief, I think I will make it. That all assumes we find a place to live while we’re out looking tomorrow. I’ve really packed our day, hoping something will bear fruit, because I can’t keep taking days off to look at apartments. Really.

April 20th 2007

my to-do list

  1. Continue outlining for Admin. Going well so far. Many weeks of notes to go, though.
  2. Begin outlining for Con Crim Pro. Haven’t started. A little nervous about that.
  3. Write seminar brief. Arguments have changed DRASTICALLY since last week. V. nervous about that.
  4. Dive into new journal duties by attacking a pending edit. Wondering when I’ll find the time for that.
  5. Look at apartments this weekend. Again with the time thing.
  6. Revise other seminar paper, due at end of exam period. Plenty of time for that, right?

The seminar brief is due next Thursday, so it should, theoretically, be first on my list. But I have study sessions to set up during next week, and I should have SOMETHING outlined before I go to those, so I have to do some outlining in the next week. I have a full month to attack the journal duties, but don’t want to put those off at all since I am not sure how long each edit will take me. I have to decide when to take my exams, so that’s another issue that will determine which outlines get done first. And the apartment thing…sigh. We have to find something, and we’re only about 6 weeks out from our earliest moving day, so that has to get done, also.

Y’all, this is going to be a crazy two weeks. However, per normal for me, the busier I am, the calmer I get. I simply do not have time to be completely wigged out right now.

April 17th 2007

some kind of aha moment

Every now and then, I look around where I’m at and realize that the idealized vision I had of this great intellectually stimulating educational environment is actually happening all around me.

There are moments of disillusionment also, to be sure, but lately I’m having more of the “Yeah, this is exactly the experience I always hoped it would be” moments. I guess it’s good I’m having these moments now, when I have another year to enjoy; I wish I’d started having them before the last week of classes of my second year, though.

April 14th 2007

productivity, yay! part ii

So I’ve been doing some research for a professor this semester, and it’s been really interesting, but I haven’t been able to spend as much time with it as I would have liked over the last few weeks. Yesterday I decided that this would be my priority this weekend, to finish going through the notes he gave me and get through the whole piece. I have just completed that task. I still need to go back, maybe tomorrow, and refine some stuff, read some things more closely, check some books in the library–but I feel good that I got through the piece. It’s one less thing hanging over my head.

April 12th 2007

productivity, yay!

Why is it that the mere act of getting OUT OF THE HOUSE immediately makes me more productive? It’s not like the coffeehouse I’m at is a particularly work-inspiring place. But I now have 5 pages of my seminar brief[1] (due in 2 weeks–that’s pretty good, all things considered!) where before I had a rough 2 page outline. OK, at least one page of that 5 pages is a VERY LONG QUOTE from an article by Cass Sunstein. But it’s a BRIEF, remember, and briefs can be full of quotes from other people because that’s the best way to be persuasive.

That’s sort of an interesting line of thought, actually. In an academic paper, at least in law school, the idea is to come up with an interesting and novel idea and show that your interesting and novel idea is not foreclosed by other work. Hopefully you can also show that your interesting and novel idea fits into the framework presented by other work. But the key is that your interesting idea has to be NOVEL–like, no one else has made this argument before.

With a brief, though, the idea is to show that your argument is NOT new, that everyone else has basically been making the same argument with respect to other facts for, like, ever. So the more evidence you can show that other people think the way you do, the better. It’s a totally different skill set, really. And yet, at the beginning of the semester, I decided to write a brief instead of a paper (we had a choice) because I thought it might be easier. Fact is, I am probably better at the paper thing than the brief thing because I don’t think in brief terms, I think in paper terms. Of course, from an academic perspective, the brief is therefore a better assignment for me because I’m getting to work on something I’m not already good at. Yay! But from a time management perspective, it’s not so great–I have too many other things to be working on right now to be learning how to write a brief! Ack![2]

For consolation, I will remember that someone (a prof? a friend? I can’t remember) told me that brief-writing is something that very few people are good at. So if this isn’t the best thing I’ve ever written, I will not think I am a failure. I will just think I am not meant to be a brief writer. I’m not sure if that’s much consolation, though.

  1. Pretty cool, huh? I think law students don’t get enough opportunities to write briefs and since that’s what we’ll be doing–at least if we are litigation associates–it’s very cool to get to do one for a seminar.
  2. And, actually, I have to go back home now because tonight’s class is a vegan potluck, so I have to go figure out how to make eggplant parmesan without cheese. I figure that’s going to take me a while because I need to do a little experimenting with flavors to make sure it doesn’t end up tasting boring.

April 8th 2007

not guilt free, but probably worth it

Mr. Angst and I hosted some friends for a FABULOUS Easter dinner, complete with roasted leg of lamb, parmesan mashed potatoes, arugula salad with raspberry balsamic vinaigrette, bread pudding, white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and some fine port. (I didn’t make the desserts, nor did I provide the port. Good guests!) It was a terrific evening, with lots of good conversation (and a general avoidance of law school talk, thank heavens).

But every good thing has its downside. In this case, while it’s fun to have a great dinner party, all the cooking and eating and talking make it difficult to get any schoolwork done. I finished up some journal duties after our guests left, but did not manage to get to tomorrow morning’s reading. I’m going to skim through the hornbook treatment of tomorrow’s topic, but who knows how much I’ll absorb. Other things, like the Law School Roundup, also fall by the wayside; I’m hoping to get to that tomorrow morning.

Anyway, happy Easter, everyone!

April 6th 2007

oh, it’s THAT time of year again

I am now officially back in that place where I have so much to do that I am completely unable to do any of it. I am immobilized.


April 4th 2007

Wednesday musings

“First year, they scare you to death. Second year, they work you to death. Third year, they bore you to death.”

Or so the adage goes. And my experience has tracked with this. We’ll have to see how next year goes, of course, and right now it looks like that last sentence will actually read, “Third year, they squeeze out whatever remaining work is in you.” And that’s OK–next year is shaping up to be a pretty interesting year, actually.

I know this is the time of year when people start to get really antsy about stuff. 3Ls are worried about the bar and jobs, 2Ls are worried about jobs and whether they still want to be lawyers, and 1Ls are worried about jobs, journals, and whether they still want to be lawyers. Oh, and everyone is starting to get a little nervous about exams. Meanwhile, I keep seeing some negative rhetoric about law school,[1] and my heart sinks a little.

Not because my story is the same as those being told, but because those stories don’t really need to be told. Look, law school isn’t for everyone, and I think everyone coming to law school should KNOW (and I mean really, really know) that they want to be in law school. Because if you go to law school without knowing why you are there, your chances increase EXPONENTIALLY of being miserable. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

I know this is a sort of unpopular sentiment in the law student blogosphere, but I love law school. And I know I am not the only one–a friend of mine today commented how sad she is that she doesn’t have the opportunity to keep taking interesting classes like the one we’re in together and trying out new opportunities, since she’s graduating. Law school can be really, really awesome. Sure, portions of it can suck–when you have a bad professor or you get a random grade; when your job search doesn’t go as well as you wished; when you’re just completely and totally exhausted. But if you genuinely enjoy the work you are doing, then it’s worth it.

I know a lot of people think practice doesn’t track very closely with the student experience and that’s probably true. But the experience of getting to develop an intellectual interest in the kind of thinking that is foundational for practice has VALUE, and if you can enjoy those intellectual challenges, you can enjoy practice. If you don’t enjoy the intellectual challenges, I guess you could still enjoy practice. I hope, though, if you go to law school and hate the experience, but stick it out thinking you’ll love practice that you’re basing that hope on some concrete experience.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts I’ve been having as I near the end of this second year of law school. To sum up: I love law school. Others don’t. If you’re not in law school yet, figure out which kind of person you are. And if you are in law school and are hating it, try and make the most of it–do things that you will enjoy, like clinics or practicums, or take paper classes instead of exam classes.

Wow. This wasn’t intended to be an advice post, but it is.

  1. See, e.g., these guys.

April 3rd 2007

money talks

I believe this is the latest I have ever done my taxes. I intended to do them over the weekend, but that whole internet being down thing meant I couldn’t, since I do my taxes online.[1]

So I did my taxes, and, being half of a married student couple means that we did not owe a red cent and we got back everything we paid in, plus what seems like a little extra, which can’t be right, but I haven’t taken tax, so I don’t know. In any case, I finished my taxes, transmitted them online (well, federal taxes; apparently, I have to file by mail in this state, since we’ve never filed in this state before and don’t have whatever little identification number we have to have to file online. Boo. That goes in the mail tomorrow or Wednesday, I think), and even completed my FAFSA. (I would be more worried about La FAFSA except I know I’m not going to get anything but loans from my school because that’s all they EVER give me. Boo.) In the spirit of being fiscally responsible and productive, I even filled out my school financial aid paperwork.

Part of me feels bad about not getting this done sooner–I’ve always gotten my financial aid stuff done super early, so I can be as eligible as possible for as much money as possible. But two years at my school–and the anecdotes I’ve heard during that time–has taught me that it’s really not going to matter. My school gives awards out during the application process and whatever award you get then is what award you have for the rest of your time in law school. This means really, really, really good students who didn’t happen to have the LSAT and GPA numbers to get a scholarship offer when applying to law school end up with full loans for three years. And that pretty much sucks. It sucks more for those really, really, really good students than it does for me, but it’s still really pissy for me. Still, there’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ve accepted it.

And that’s why I didn’t do my financial aid documents sooner. That and the fact that the school didn’t send my W-2 to me and I had to request that they send me a duplicate. (Actually, the same thing happened to Mr. Angst–we have crappy, crappy, crappy mail service–so I wasn’t able to actually DO the taxes early on. But I could have done my FAFSA with estimated numbers. Eck. I didn’t.)

OK. I have to do a little work before I go to bed. Ta!

  1. Note that I’m posting in the evening, which would indicate that our internet is back up. Yes, it is back up, and thank God.

i guess we’re playing catch-up

One of my professors chose THIS week to decide to start flying through the rest of the syllabus. Where before, we might have covered half a reading assignment in a class, or only one reading assignment in a week, now we are flying through at least one full assignment per class. I.e., my reading load for this week has about doubled. Ack!

April 2nd 2007

Monday morning blues, or not

So our internet at home has been SUPER spotty for the last twenty-four hours or so, which royally sucks. I had to get to school early this morning to do a couple of things online that I had not been able to do yesterday, and I am always a little cranky when I have to get to school early.

Still, I must say, my commute was easier than anticipated, what with all the public transportation upheavals that started today. (I took the bus, which was practically WAITING for me, at both stops, which was delightful, but I was surprised the buses weren’t more crowded. No jinxing, though! Knock wood!)

Anyway, it’s Monday, so I’m back to the grind. This morning is probably going to be a little tense–we have people coming to pick up equipment from the EA, and I’m supposed to get cranking on some journal stuff that’s heating up in the next week–but I think I can manage. All is well, I have plenty of time to do the things I need to do, and Mr. Angst and I just hired a dogwalker, making my schedule just a little bit easier. From here on, it’s a push to the end. Onward!

April 1st 2007

wam, bam, BOOZLE

Despite technical glitches on both nights, the EA was a resounding success. We had a larger cumulative audience than we’ve ever had, we got standing ovations, and (other than my own personal little freakout on Friday night) we had FUN. FUN, my friends, FUN. In law school? Yes, in law school.

Of course, now I’m facing all the work I didn’t get done this week, and all the work I knew was going to come crashing down on me in the next week. Sigh.

March 28th 2007

is this where it starts to get fun?

It’s Wednesday. It’s not quite 5 pm. And I have finished all the major projects I had to do for the EA.

Oh, don’t get me wrong–we still have “meetings” tonight, tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday.[1] And I have to be at those meetings and do some fairly important stuff related to those meetings. But I had a bunch of other duties, too, things that didn’t involve me showing up and participating, things that were just MY responsibility. And those? Those are DONE. It feels pretty good.

Of course, I had to take a day off to get them done. I promise I’ll catch up on my reading this weekend, though.

  1. This is my lame attempt to somewhat disguise what the EA is. I’m not sure it’s worth it, but it’s kind of fun for now.

March 27th 2007

an update

I feel like I haven’t posted in a while, but I think that’s more because I have been so busy this week–isn’t there something up for yesterday? I think there is.

This week is production week for the EA[1] and things have been interesting. They started out sort of bad, and then they got better, and then I thought they got worse, but they didn’t really, and then they got really really better tonight. Really, given how yesterday and this morning went, tonight was a ticker tape parade.

Meanwhile, I am falling behind in my reading, which is too bad–I actually enjoy most of my reading this semester. Or maybe it’s just that I understand it better. In any case, I don’t like being unprepared for class, but I dislike missing class, so I’ve been going and trying to follow along and that’s sort of happening, but sort of not. So, eh.

There’s something invigorating about being busy and all, but I am also exhausted. I miss my dog, my husband, my home, my bed. I miss being relaxed but that’s probably more a function of the EA coming so directly after spring break.

  1. Extracurricular Activity

March 23rd 2007

1? check. 2? check. 3? check?

As of right now, I have, officially, done everything I was supposed to do over break. Don’t get me wrong–I still have TONS of work to do to COMPLETE the tasks on my agenda, but they have all been started and are either as finished as they can be at this point or have progressed to the point that I can not worry about them for a couple of days. This is a Very Good Thing.

March 22nd 2007


Four days into my trip away and I have completed two of the three tasks for the EA that were on my list. The third item is much less pressing, and I will be working on it for the next four days or so. I’m stressing a little today over a couple of things that I can’t be around to control–since I’m out of town and all–but I’ve asked some people who are around to keep their eyes peeled, and all I can do is hope that’s enough. ‘Twas a little more stress than I needed this afternoon, but c’est la vie, this is the way of the world.

I am still enjoying my vacation, but the first half of it is about to give way to the second half (read: I’m swapping one family member’s couch for another family member’s couch), and I’m ready. That’s not to say any part of this first half has been “bad” or not enjoyable, but sometimes you can overdose on family time. As it were. Still, I am very grateful that I’m here, at this particular time–without going into gory detail, things have been shaken up around here lately, and I think it’s really important that I was here this week to lend support, be around, etc.

With that being said, I think I’ll surf around a bit, maybe pull down some cases to my computer so I have them later, when I might not have internet access, and relax a bit before dinner.

March 21st 2007

a pretty nice little Wednesday

Hooray! Upon the advice of my security-minded husband (and with his long-distance help)[1], I have set up a wireless network for my dad. He doesn’t need the wireless, but he does need the extra security a wireless router provides his desktop computer. (Note to people using desktop computers: don’t just plug them directly into the cable modem. Not secure! Easy way to get viruses and spyware!)

At any rate, thus endeth the internet drought for Yours Truly. I can check my email when I want, and without having to have my pops log into his desktop machine. Frankly, it’s probably a bad thing; I don’t need my internet addiction to be enabled. But I do have work to do over the next couple of days, and internet access helps. It’s like a food addiction–you can’t stop eating, so you have to figure out how to manage the addiction. I’m working on it, man, working on it.

Tonight, even, I’m dragging myself away from the computer to go see a basketball game with my dad. It’s a good Spring Break day, though, when you do three or four hours of work-that-needs-to-be-done, get a round of visiting in with a well-liked cousin, do some handiwork (that would be the setting up of the wireless network), and still manage to go to a professional sporting event. This is what EVERY break should be like!

  1. And I should mention, he helped me very ably and patiently, even though I know he hates doing IT support, all while trying to comfort our poor dog, who is terrified of thunderstorms, which apparently Our City is experiencing. I have the best spouse EVAR.

March 17th 2007

it’s like my bones are water

For the first time in days, I took a break without feeling guilty. Mr. Angst and I (and some friends) enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day festivities for several hours. Then we had a home-cooked dinner, and watched a movie on TV, and during all of that I have not once felt a twince of nervous guilt. Oh, sure, there are some things I need to work on before Spring Break is over, but I feel no nervous guilt about not doing them today.

It’s awfully nice, actually, even though I know this nice feeling won’t last. It’ll be gone by tomorrow afternoon, and will likely not be back until, oh, I don’t know…August? Maybe May, but doubtful; my short break between the end of exams and the beginning of work will probably be consumed by journal duties.

But for now, I’m not thinking about the looming stretch of busy-ness. Instead, I’m just sitting on the couch, idly surfing the internet, watching The Usual Suspects with the dog and the husband, and relishing this sense of freedom. May all of you law students enjoy a similar moment during Spring Break, however fleeting.

March 16th 2007


So the paper was finished early, turned in early, and I even got a confirmation email from the prof. Yay! Done! Mr. Angst and I celebrated by starting St. Patrick’s Day early by having fish and chips and Harp on tap at a pub down the road.

Did you see how I did that? I pointed out right then that tomorrow? is St. Patrick’s Day, the BEST HOLIDAY EVER. Especially in this city, where they do the green up right. We’ll be watching a parade tomorrow, among other things, with some friends, and the best part of it all is that I am done with the academic half of my spring break! I can relax, drink beer, have fun with my husband and friends, and not be stressed about WORK. Hallejuah (oops, can’t say that during Lent…) Hooray!

an update

I have 19 pages and still need to write my section on the economic loss doctrine and my conclusion. My self-set deadline is 5pm.

So what am I about to do? Take the dog on a run. I need to burn off some energy.

Spring break, for me, starts in four and a half hours. Wish me luck sprinting to the end.